Former Goliad standout Zamzow rallies to win NCAA heptathlon

Native South Texan Ashtin Zamzow rallied from a 254-point deficit Saturday to win the title in the heptathlon at the NCAA Track and Field Championships.

Zamzow, a University of Texas senior from Goliad, took the lead in the javelin and finished with a school-record 6,222 points.

Texas A&M’s Tyra Gittens, who held the big lead on Zamzow after five events, finished second with 6,049.

Michelle Atherley of Miami placed third with 6,014.

Zamzow told ESPN that “it’s a dream come true” to claim the championship.

“Words can’t describe it,” said Zamzow, who ran as a freshman at Texas A&M before transferring.

A large contingent of fans cheered in the stands at UT’s Myers Stadium during her television interview.

Who were they?

“It’s family, friends, everybody who supported me in my dream to come to Texas and be a successful athlete,” she said. “They mean the world to me. I’m so glad they’re here with me.”

Temperatures in the mid-90s in Austin made it tough on all the athletes on the fourth and final day of the meet.

Gittens held a 4,818-4,564 lead on Zamzow entering the second event of the day and the sixth of seven events in the heptathlon.

Zamzow promptly erased the deficit with a heave of 162-7 to win the javelin, an effort that vaulted her into a 5,416-5,356 points lead going into the 800 meters, the final event.

At that point, Zamzow needed only to avoid finishing more than four seconds behind Gittens in the 800 to claim her first outdoor heptathlon title.

She covered the distance in 2 minutes and 21.31 seconds to clinch the overall championship, with Gittens crossing in 2:29.99 to finish as the runnerup.

Zamzow’s title puts quite a twist on the Texas vs. Texas A&M rivalry. Her father, Stacy, and her mother, Kalleen, both competed in track at A&M.

After Ashtin Zamzow left Goliad, she competed at A&M in the 2014-15 season and then elected to transfer.

In her first year at Texas, in 2016, she made it to the NCAA meet in the heptathlon but finished 17th. In 2017, Zamzow redshirted. Last year, she was 11th.

This year, she turned it on, winning the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays title with 6,148 points.

Competing at home in the national meet, Zamzow set personal-bests in the 100 hurdles (13.33), in the 200 (24.23) and in the long jump (19-8 ΒΎ).

She tied her all-time best in the high jump (5-10) on the way to the ninth-best point total in collegiate history.

It was also the seventh-best heptathlon score ever recorded at the NCAA championship.

Gittens, from Trinidad & Tobago, won the Southeastern Conference title earlier this season with a score of 5,793. In high school, she won 17 state titles in Tennessee.

Clark celebrates Arkansas team title

Former Smithson Valley distance running star Devin Clark celebrated a women’s team title with the Arkansas Razorbacks. Clark is an Arkansas senior who placed seventh in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Women’s team standings

Top 10

Arkansas 64, USC 57, LSU 43, Texas A&M 38, Oregon 34, Florida 32, Alabama 29, New Mexico 27, Colorado 24, (T10) Texas, South Carolina, Stanford, Florida State, all 20.

Horton runs on Baylor relay

Former Judson standout Kiana Horton and the Baylor women finished seventh in the 4×400 relay on the last event of the day. Horton is a Baylor senior.

Devin Clark takes seventh in NCAA 3,000 steeplechase

Devin Clark, an Arkansas senior from Smithson Valley, finished seventh on Saturday in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA Track and Field Championships.

Clark was timed in 9 minutes and 55.22 seconds.

Allie Ostrander of Boise State won the race and set a facility record with a time of 9:37.23 on a hot afternoon.

The meet is in its last day and its final session. It’s being held in Austin, at Myers Stadium, on the University of Texas campus.

Clark is also on the start list for the 5,000 meters.

In 2014-15, her senior year of high school, Clark capped a record-setting career at Smithson Valley by winning state championship in cross country and by taking silver medals for second place in both the 1,600- and 3,200-meters in track.

Earlier Saturday, Ashtin Zamzow, a UT senior from Goliad, took the lead in the heptathlon with 5,416 points with one event remaining.

Tyra Gittens, a Texas A&M sophomore, has totaled 5,356 points.

Zamzow erased a 254-point deficit with a heave of 162 feet and 7 inches to win the javelin.

Gilbert, Rogers earn All-American designations at NCAA meet

Former San Antonio area standouts Tre’Bien Gilbert and Alex Rogers brought home All-American designations Friday on Day 3 of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Gilbert, an Arkansas freshman from Judson, ran the third leg of the Razorbacks’ 4×100-meter relay.

Rogers, a University of Texas senior from New Braunfels Canyon, finished sixth in a grueling 3,000-meter steeplechase that was run in 90-degree weather in Austin.

Ashtin Zamzow, a UT senior from Goliad, held second place in the women’s heptathlon after four events.

Ranked No. 1 in the nation coming into the meet, Zamzow will need to come from behind and catch Texas A&M sophomore Tyra Gittens to win the title Saturday on the last day of the meet at Myers Stadium.

In the first event of the evening session Friday, Arkansas finished fourth in one of the fastest 4×100 relays in championship history.

Florida won in a collegiate best 37.97 seconds, followed by Florida State (38.08), Texas Tech (38.45) and Arkansas (38.58).

Both Florida and Floria State bested the previous record of 38.17, set last year by the University of Houston.

The Arkansas sprint relay consisted of freshman Josh Oglesby, sophomore Kris Hari, Gilbert and redshirt senior Roy Ejiakuekwu.

Last year, Gilbert emerged as one of the top high school hurdlers in the nation as a Judson senior.

He won state titles in Class 6A in both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles.

In his first outdoor season as a collegian, he moved into the rotation of runners on the Arkansas sprint relay two weeks ago during the West Regional preliminaries.

Gilbert held tight to the position at the national meet, running third on the Arkansas relay in Wednesday’s semifinals and in Friday’s finals.

In the 3000 steeplechase, Rogers started fast, holding second or third place through the first five minutes.

From there, he faded to back in the pack but finished strong, passing a few runners at the end for sixth in 8 minutes and 43.29 seconds.

Two runners tripped on barriers and fell on the last lap.

One of them, Stanford’s Steven Fahy, got up and won the race in 8:38.46.

Sam Worley, a UT sophomore from New Braunfels Canyon, finished a disappointing ninth in the 1,500 meters.

Notre Dame’s Yared Nuguse won in 3:41.381, coming from behind and leaning at the end to beat second-place Justine Kiprotich of Michigan State, who was timed at 3:41.384.

Worley entered the meet ranked fifth.

But he finished a hard-luck ninth in 3:42.81, less than a half second behind both seventh-place Jack Antsey of Illinois State and eighth-place Casey Comber of Villanova.

In the heptathlon, Gittens and Zamzow were 1-2 in the standings through four events.

Gittens, from Nashville, Tenn., scored a victory in the high jump and placed second in the shot put.

Zamzow placed third in both the 100-hurdles and third in the shot put.

Going into the last day, which consists of competitions in the long jump, javelin and 800 meters, Gittens holds a 161-point edge (3,872-3,711) on Zamzow.

Zamzow started her career at Texas A&M before transferring to Texas.

She scored a career-high and nation-leading 6,148 points at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in March.

Gittens’ best this year was 5,793 at the Southeastern Conference championships on May 9.

Final men’s team standings

Top 10

Texas Tech 60, Florida 50, Houston 40, Georgia 32.5, Stanford 32, Texas A&M 29, LSU 28, BYU 27, Texas 26, Alabama 25.

Incarnate Word’s Alexander places sixth in NCAA long jump

Sarea Alexander had one last try to make her mark in the women’s long jump at the NCAA Track and Field Championships late Thursday night.

The University of the Incarnate Word senior made it count with her best effort of the evening, leaping 21 feet, 1 and 1/2 inch to finish sixth in the event.

Florida’s Yanis David placed first with a jump of 22-5 1/4, followed by Jasmyn Steels of Northwestern State (22-0 1/4) and Texas A&M’s Deborah Acquah (21-9).

TCU’s Destiny Longmire finished fourth (21-6), Rougui Sow of Florida State placed fifth (21-3) and Alexander, from San Antonio’s MacArthur High School, was sixth.

Alexander, the first athlete from UIW to compete in the national outdoor meet, took six attempts on the evening, and she produced efforts of 20-0 1/2, 18-4 1/2, 20-8, 19-11 1/2, 20-10 3/4 and 21-1 1/2.

Razorbacks’ Clark in two finals

Arkansas senior Devin Clark qualified for the finals of the 3,000-meter steeplechase Thursday on Day 2 of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Clark, from Smithson Valley High School, ran 9:54.93 for fifth in her heat to move on as an autotmatic qualifier.

She is now qualified to run in two event finals on Saturday, the 3,000 steeplechase and the 5,000 meters.

The meet is being held in Austin at Myers Stadium.

Local athletes

Baylor’s Kiana Horton, a senior from Judson, qualified for the finals as part of the 4×400 relay. The Bears ran 3:32.88 to place second in their heat in the semifinals.

UTSA freshman Gary Haasbroek retired with an injury after eight events in the decathlon.

UTSA’s Haasbroek in sixth as NCAA decathlon continues

UTSA freshman Gary Haasbroek on Thursday will enter the final five events of the decathlon in sixth place at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Haasbroek, from Melbourne, Australia, has 3,998 points, 25 points out of the No. 5 spot and just one ahead of the No. 7.

Arkansas senior Gabe Moore (4,023) placed fifth and Michigan senior Jack Lint (3,997) was seventh.

The NCAA meet is taking place at Myers Stadium in Austin. It started Wedesday and will run through Saturday.

Haasbroek’s best events on the first day came in the long jump and and in the 400 meters, as he finished third and seventh, respectively.

He ran a time of 11.09 seconds in the 100 meters, produced a long jump of 24 feet, 3 and 1/2 inches, threw the shot put 40-7 and 3/4, high jumped 6-4 and 3/4 and ran the 400 meters in 49.05.

Local athletes

Wednesday’s results

Sam Worley, UT sophomore from New Braunfels Canyon, qualified for the finals in the 1,500 meters (3:46.43, ninth place overall)

Alex Rogers, UT senior from New Braunfels Canyon, qualified for the finals in the 3,000 steeplechase (8:43.09, third overall)

Final Four-bound Texas Tech stuns Gonzaga, 75-69

The Texas Tech Red Raiders will play in the NCAA Final Four for the first time in school history.

Third-seeded Texas Tech, led by third-year head coach Chris Beard, earned the trip by surprising No. 1 Gonzaga 75-69 Saturday afternoon in the West Regional Finals.

As a result, the Red Raiders will play in the NCAA semifinals a week from today in Minneapolis.

They’ll take on either Duke or Michigan State, who play Sunday in Washington, D.C., for the East Regional title.

In the game played at Anaheim, California, the Red Raiders shut down one of the nation’s most explosive offensive teams with a relentless defensive effort.

They held the Bulldogs to 20 points below their average and to 42.4 percent shooting from the field.

Records

Texas Tech 30-6
Gonzaga 33-4

Individuals

Texas Tech — Jarrett Culver, 19 points, five rebounds, two assists, three steals. Tariq Owens, 9 points, five blocked shots, seven rebounds. Matt Mooney, 17 points. Davide Moretti, 12.

Gonzaga — Rui Hachimura, 22 points, six rebounds. Brandon Clarke, 18 points, 12 rebounds.

Duke is too good to pick against in the NCAA Tournament

Well, here it is. The NCAA Tournament bracket that you’ve all been waiting for. No. 1 seeds are Duke, Gonzaga, Virginia and North Carolina. The No. 2s include Michigan State, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky.

Texas teams

(3) Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. (14) Northern Kentucky Norse — Midwest Regional, at Tulsa, Okla., Friday, 12:30 p.m., TNT.

(3) Houston Cougars vs. (14) Georgia State Panthers — West Regional, at Tulsa, Okla., Friday, 6:20 p.m., TBS

(9) Baylor Bears vs. (8) Syracuse Orange — Thursday, at Salt Lake City, Thursday, 8:57 p.m., truTV

(15) Abilene Christian Wildcats vs. (2) Kentucky Wildcats — Thursday, at Jacksonville, Fla., 7:10 p.m., CBS

(16) Prairie View A&M Panthers vs. (16) Fairleigh Dickinson (round of 68) — Tuesday, at Dayton, Ohio, 7:40 p.m., truTV.

Bracket buster

Keep an eye on the Ja Morant-led Murray State Racers, seeded 12th in the West, who are good enough to spring an upset against No. 5 Marquette in the first round. I also like the West’s third-seeded Texas Tech Red Raiders’ chances to go deep in the bracket.

Final Four projection

Duke in the East, Texas Tech in the West, Virginia in the South and North Carolina in the Midwest. I really like the Houston Cougars, but they’d need to get through Kentucky in the Sweet 16, and I don’t think that will happen. Kentucky has a chance against North Carolina in the Elite Eight, but the Tar Heels have too much firepower.

Who will win?

Duke over Texas Tech in one semifinal. North Carolina over Virginia in the other. Duke over North Carolina for the title.

Local athletes

Duke forward Justin Robinson (San Antonio Christian), Gonzaga guard Jeremy Jones (East Central), Minnesota forward Jordan Murphy (Brennan) and Colgate guard Jordan Burns (Marshall). Baylor forward Tristan Clark (Wagner) is injured.

Texas Tech’s Kevin McCullar (Wagner) is a redshirt. Prairie View A&M guard Tyler Singleton played previously at the University of the Incarnate Word.

Area colleges

Texas State (24-9) hosts Florida International (19-13) Saturday at 6 p.m. in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.

UTSA (17-15) and UIW (6-25) will not play in the postseason.

As many as seven teams from Texas could land NCAA bids

The 11th-ranked University of Houston Cougars and the UT Arlington Mavericks on Sunday will try to join two other programs in the state of Texas as automatic qualifiers in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Prairie View A&M and Abilene Christian qualified Saturday with victories in their respective conference tournament finals.

For Prairie View, it will be the school’s first NCAA appearance in 21 years. Abilene Christian has never made the Division I national tournament.

When the bracket is revealed later today, three Texas-based Big 12 squads likely will make the field.

Texas Tech and Baylor are considered locks, while TCU is probably in, as well, according to bracket projection analysts.

UT Arlington, under first-year coach Chris Ogden, plays Georgia State today in New Orleans for the Sun Belt Conference’s automatic bid.

The Mavericks will not make the NCAA field unless they win, meaning that they have much more riding on their game today than the Cougars.

The Cougars, regular-season champions in the American Athletic Conference, are expected to make the Big Dance as an at-large entry even if they lose today.

Houston is playing in Memphis against 24th-ranked Cincinnati.

Saturday’s highlights

Prairie View rallied from a 13-point, first-half deficit to stun the Texas Southern Tigers, 92-86, in the Southwestern Athletic Conference title game at Birmingham, Ala. Both the Panthers and Tigers shot 55 percent in the second half. Guard Gary Blackston had 17 points and six steals for Prairie View. The Panthers secured the school’s second NCAA bid and its first since 1998.

Abilene Christian routed New Orleans 77-60 at Katy for the Southland Conference crown behind Jaren Lewis, who had 20 points, six rebounds and three steals. The Wildcats moved from NCAA Division II to Division I six years ago. Under terms of the transition, they were ineligible to play in the SLC tournament for the first four years.

Conference USA

Regular-season champion Old Dominion earned the NCAA automatic bid with a 62-56 victory over former San Antonio prep standout Charles Bassey and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.

UAB rallies to oust UTSA from C-USA tournament, 85-76

The UTSA Roadrunners wanted to play all weekend in Frisco, if they could.

And, for most of the first half Thursday night, it looked as if they might have the right mojo to make a strong run in the Conference USA basketball tournament.

The UAB Blazers had other ideas.

Guard Zack Bryant produced 24 points, seven rebounds and five assists as the fifth-seeded Blazers, down by seven at intermission, rallied to eliminate the No. 4 Roadrunners, 85-76, in the tournament quarterfinals.

Steve Henson. Old Dominion beat UTSA 65-64 on Thursday night in a Conference USA game at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA coach Steve Henson – File photo by Joe Alexander

Coming on strong late in the game played at The Star in Frisco, the Blazers shot 50 percent from the field and hit six three-point shots in the second half.

As a result, UAB will advance to take on the top-seeded Old Dominion Monarchs in Friday’s semifinals.

Jhivvan Jackson led the Roadrunners with 35 points on 9 of 24 shooting from the field. Keaton Wallace shot 5 of 14 from the floor and finished with 12 points.

Jackson left the game for a few minutes early in the second half after turning his ankle. It was a key sequence for the Roadrunners, who lost the lead and never recovered.

UAB held UTSA to 11 of 33 shooting from the floor after intermission.

First-half recap

Jackson came out firing in his first C-USA tournament game.

The 6-foot guard from Puerto Rico scored 21 points in the first half as the Roadrunners built a 42-35 lead.

Trailing by 12 points early and by 11 on a few more occasions, the Blazers rallied with a Tyreek Scott-Grayson-fueled 6-0 run in the last few minutes.

Scott-Grayson hit two shots in the run. UTSA answered with a Giovanni De Nicolao layup with 29 seconds to account for the final points in the half.

Records

UAB 20-13
UTSA 17-15

Coming up

It’s possible that UTSA could get a bid to either the College Basketball Invitational or the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. But UTSA coach Steve Henson didn’t say for certain that the team would play again this season. As for the Blazers, they’ll face the Monarchs in Friday’s C-USA semifinals. Old Dominion escaped Louisiana Tech, 57-56, on a three in the final seconds by point guard Ahmad Caver.

Notable

UTSA was limited at the outset with Nick Allen trying to play on a fractured toe. But things got worse as the game went on, with Atem Bior getting in early foul trouble and then Byron Frohnen and Adrian Rodriguez suffering minor injuries in the second half. Taking advantage in the paint, UAB outrebounded UTSA, 42-30, including 17-9 on the offensive glass.

Quotable

“They just exerted their will and just crushed us on the glass (in) both halves. Drove it at us. Drove it at us. Drove it at us. And they mixed in some threes … Just overpowered us. You know, rebounding, driving at us and getting to the free-throw line … They dictated everything in the secod half in terms of physicality.’ — UTSA coach Steve Henson

Jackson, Wallace named to all-Conference USA squads

UTSA sophomores Jhivvan Jackson and Keaton Wallace both have been named to all-Conference USA teams, with Jackson taking home first-team honors.

Wallace was listed as a second-team selection.

Old Dominion swept the top honors with guard guard B.J. Stith getting player of the year and Jeff Jones coach of the year.

The C-USA tournament opens Wednesday in Frisco.

For the first time in six years in the conference, UTSA has earned a first-round tournament bye, and, as a No. 4 seed, will open play Thursday at 6:30 p.m. against either UAB or Middle Tennessee.

All-Conference USA basketball
First team
Jon Elmore, Marshall, Sr., G, 6-3, 185, Charleston, West Virginia
Ahmad Caver, Old Dominion, Sr., G, 6-2, 170, Atlanta, Georgia
B.J. Stith, Old Dominion, Sr., G, 6-5, 215, Lawrenceville, Virginia
Jhivvan Jackson, UTSA, So., G, 6-0, 160, BayamΓ³n, Puerto Rico
Charles Bassey, WKU, Fr., C, 6-11, 245, Lagos, Nigeria

Second team
Jon Davis, Charlotte, Sr., G, 6-2, 200, Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Brian Beard Sr., FIU, Jr., G, 5-10, 180, Rancho Cucamonga, California
Cortez Edwards, Southern Miss, Sr., G, 6-2, 180, Kissimmee, Florida
Tyree Griffin, Southern Miss, R-Sr., G, 5-10, 175, New Orleans, Louisiana
Keaton Wallace, UTSA, So., G, 6-3, 175, Richardson, Texas

Third team
Anthony Adger, Florida Atlantic, Sr., G, 6-1, 170, Anderson, South Carolina
C.J. Burks, Marshall, Jr., G, 6-4, 195, Martinsburg, West Virginia
Antonio Green, Middle Tennessee, R-Jr., G, 6-2, 190, Tupelo, Mississippi
Ryan Woolridge, North Texas, Jr., G, 6-3, 175, Mansfield, Texas
Zack Bryant, UAB, So., G, 6-2, 183, Hastings, Florida
Taveion Hollingsworth, WKU, So., G, 6-2, 165, Lexington, Kentucky

All-freshman team
Taevion Kinsey, Marshall, Fr., G, 6-5, 177, Columbus, Ohio
Umoja Gibson, North Texas, R-Fr., G, 6-1, 160, Waco, Texas
Chris Mullins, Rice, Fr., G, 6-3, 170, Grand Prairie, Texas
Efe Odigie, UTEP, Fr., F, 6-9, 280, Houston, Texas
Charles Bassey, WKU, Fr., C, 6-11, 245, Lagos, Nigeria

All-defensive team
Brian Beard Sr., FIU, Jr., G, 5-10, 180, Rancho Cucamonga, California Osasumwen Osaghae, FIU, Jr., F, 6-7, 250, Miami, Florida
Xavier Green, Old Dominion, So., G, 6-6, 200, Williamsburg, Virginia
Cortez Edwards, Southern Miss, Sr., G, 6-2, 180, Kissimmee, Florida
Charles Bassey, WKU, Fr., C, 6-11, 245, Lagos, Nigeria